Benedict XVI to Visit Viterbo on Sept. 6

ROME, JULY 16, 2009 ( An Italian bishop who will welcome Benedict XVI for a day-trip to his diocese Sept. 6 has characterized the visit as an event to spark «the need for and joy of believing.»

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Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli of Viterbo thus described the papal journey to his city and Bagnoregio when he told Vatican Radio that the Pope will come «to confirm us in the faith.»

«Faith,» the bishop said, «above all for young generations, is the energy that shows us the goal to which we are headed and makes us fall in love with it.»

Bishop Chiarinelli also spoke about the «increasingly broken» society, saying that what is needed is a «sense of unity» to prevail over differences and for society to be «truly built on the pillars of liberty, truth, charity and justice.»

The prelate explained that the Holy Father’s journey will follow the footsteps of St. Rose, patron of Viterbo, and St. Bonaventure, of Bagnoregio. Benedict XVI is a scholar of this latter saint, named a doctor of the Church by Pope Sixtus V in 1588.

Viterbo has a rich history linked to the papacy: There, five popes were elected, four are buried, and 50 have lived.

Still, the German Pontiff will travel to the two sites mainly to meet with their current inhabitants. He will celebrate a public Mass and pray the Angelus with the faithful. And from Viterbo’s Papal Palace, he will greet the faithful. The Holy Father will also pray with cloistered nuns in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Encina.

Before his return to Castel Gandolfo, he will venerate a relic of St. Bonaventure in Bagnoregio.

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